Kuykendahl Road bridge project nearly complete, Rayford Road project underway: 7 road projects in The Woodlands

Transportation Updates

1. Kuykendahl Road bridge project

A dual bridge with two north- and two southbound lanes  is under construction on Kuykendahl Road over Spring Creek to mitigate traffic congestion between Montgomery and Harris counties. A substantial amount of the construction has been completed, according to Harris County Precinct 4 officials, and the contractor is now focusing on completing the north and south approaches. The project is slated for completion June 22.

Timeline: October 2016- June 22, 2017
Cost: $6 million
Funding sources: The Woodlands Road Utility District No. 1, Montgomery County Precinct 3, Harris County Precinct 4

2. David Memorial Drive extension

This Shenandoah Municipal Development District project will extend David Memorial Drive from Shenandoah Park Drive to    Hwy. 242 in the Shenandoah area. Phase 1 was completed in late May, and Phase 2, which will extend David Memorial Drive to the Shenandoah city limit, is under design.

Timeline: October 2016-May 2017 (Phase 1), TBA (phases 2 and 3)
Cost: $2.3 million
Funding sources: Shenandoah Municipal Development District, Montgomery County Precinct 4

3. Birnham Woods Drive improvements

(3A) Phase 1 of this two-phase project in Spring will widen Birnham Woods Drive from two to four lanes between Fuller Bluff Drive and the Grand Parkway. (3B) Phase 2 will widen Birnham Woods Drive from two lanes to four lanes with a center turn lane between the Grand Parkway and Waterbend Cove.  A traffic signal will also be installed at the Birnham Woods Drive and Waterbend Cove intersection. Phase 1 was completed in March, and Phase 2 is slated to begin June 12.

Timeline: February-March (Phase 1), June 12-early August (Phase 2)
Cost: $1.2 million
Funding sources: Montgomery County Precinct 3

4. Research Forest Drive widening

This project will widen Research Forest Drive in The Woodlands from two to four lanes with asphalt shoulders from FM 2978 to Branch Crossing Drive. Construction began in early May and is expected to be complete by May 2018.

Timeline:  May 2017-May 2018
Cost: $8 million
Funding sources: Montgomery County Precinct 2

5. FM 2978 widening

This Texas Department of Transportation project will widen FM 2978 from two to four lanes from FM 1488 to Dry Creek for Phase 1 and from Dry Creek to Conroe Hufsmith Road for Phase 2. The project was originally scheduled to begin in summer 2016 but has been continuously delayed due to utility relocations, which are expected to be complete by mid-June, according to Montgomery County Precinct 2 officials. Construction on Phase 2 is expected to begin shortly after and will take approximately 2.5 years to complete.

Timeline:  TBA (Phase 1), late June 2017-Late 2019 (Phase 2)
Cost: $23.9 million
Funding sources: TxDOT, Forde Construction Co.  

6. Gosling Road bridge

Similar to the Kuykendahl Road bridge project, a $7 million dual bridge will likewise be constructed on Gosling Road over Spring Creek as part of a future joint project between Montgomery County Precinct 3, Harris County Precinct 4 and TxDOT. Discussions between both counties about project initiation are still in progress, according to Harris County Precinct 4 officials.    

Estimated Timeline: TBA

7. Rayford Road

This $60 million Montgomery County Precinct 3 road bond project will widen Rayford Road from four to six lanes between Lazy Lane and the Grand Parkway. A six-lane bridge will also be constructed over the Union Pacific Corp. railroad tracks, new traffic signals will be installed and a raised median will be added to enhance the safety of left-turning motorists. Construction began April 28 and is expected to be complete by summer 2019.

Estimated Timeline: April 28, 2017-summer 2019

How it works

How it worksWhat happens when a TxDOT roadway enters a city’s boundaries?

When a city incorporates, that government becomes responsible for all roadways within its city limits, including any state and numbered streets. Cities then must create a municipal maintenance agreement with the Texas Department of Transportation to determine the responsibilities of the city and TxDOT for constructing, reconstructing and maintaining those state roadways.

To create a municipal maintenance agreement, a city meets with TxDOT to discuss maps identifying state roadways within city limits; lists of roadways maintained by TxDOT and by the city; maintenance requests on those roadways; and a list of exhibits, such as landscaping and filtration system plans. A city will then approve a resolution to enter into an agreement with TxDOT.

These agreements give cities “exclusive domain, control and jurisdiction over the public streets within its corporate limits,” according to TxDOT. The state agency also can indicate which roadways it will continue maintaining.

Both the city and TxDOT will review and approve these responsibilities to execute the agreement.

Agreements may address traffic signals, lighting, traffic regulations, speed limits, signs, pavement markings, school safety devices, and parking laws and enforcement. If a city wants to install red-light cameras, an amendment must be added to the agreement, according to TxDOT.

Agreements also do not expire but must be reviewed every two years or after new census results are released to include any new roads or changes in the city’s boundaries.

By Hannah Zedaker
Born and raised in Cypress, Texas, Hannah Zedaker graduated from Sam Houston State University in 2016 with a bachelor's degree in mass communication and a minor in political science. She began as an intern with Community Impact Newspaper in 2015 and was hired upon graduation as a reporter for The Woodlands edition in May 2016. In January 2019, she was promoted to serve as the editor of the Spring/Klein edition where she covers Spring ISD and Harris County Commissioners Court, in addition to business, development and transportation news.


Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced March 2 that mask mandates and business capacity restrictions will be lifted in Texas. (Courtesy Office of the Texas Governor)
Gov. Greg Abbott lifts statewide mask mandate, business restrictions in Texas

With vaccine distribution increasing, Gov. Greg Abbott said "people and businesses don't need the state telling them how to operate." Some local officials are pushing back, saying the relaxed restrictions are coming too early.

Oak Ridge North officials granted two-year extensions to two private schools' specific-use permits for operating within the city's Plaza District on March 1. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Oak Ridge North approves 2-year permit extensions for All Nations, Journey schools

City Council renewed specific-use permits for two Robinson Road schools housed in the Sojourn Baptist Church building during a special session March 1.

Most of the electric grid in Texas is managed by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which is not linked to other interconnected national electrical systems. (Courtesy Electric Reliability Council of Texas)
Leaving the Texas power grid 'not likely to be an option' for Harris County, official says

Just two weeks after severe winter weather dropped Harris County temperatures below freezing for three consecutive days, which led to widespread power outages, loss of water and the deaths of at least 50 county residents, Harris County Commissioners Court called for major reform at the state level regarding the Texas power grid and related energy policies.

Hank's Crab Shack gets and sells several hundred pounds of crawfish daily, especially during the peak of crawfish season. (Morgan Theophil/Community Impact Newspaper)
Hank's Crab Shack serving Katy; 16 Spring-Klein business updates and more Houston-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Houston area.

(Courtesy Top Sushi)
Top Sushi The Woodlands opens in Metropark Square

The sushi restaurant is the sixth for the company in the Greater Houston area.

Houston City Hall in rainbow lighting
Greater Houston LGBT Chamber of Commerce celebrates five years of service

The organization is open to all and serves members throughout the Greater Houston area.

Montgomery County is set to receive its largest first-dose allocation during the week of March 1. (Ali Linan/Community Impact Newspaper)
Montgomery County set to receive largest vaccine allocation yet in first week of March

Nearly 20,000 vaccine doses were allocated to the county's two vaccine hubs and several additional providers for the week of March 1.

A coronavirus vaccine is given at Memorial Hermann's mass vaccine clinic Feb. 26. (Andrew Christman/Community Impact Newspaper)
Memorial Hermann closes out 2nd round of vaccines with 7,000 distributed among 2 clinics

The clinic will continue operations through 5:30 p.m. Feb. 27.

The new Fort Bend Epicenter multipurpose facility could be used as a spot for trade shows and sporting events, could act as a large-scale shelter for county residents in an emergency and more. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Large multipurpose complex coming to Fort Bend County; Sugar Land to widen University Blvd. and more top Houston-area news

Read the top business and community news from the past week from the Houston area.

Snow covers I-45 in Houston during a winter storm that hit Texas the night of Feb. 14. (Shawn Arrajj/Community Impact Newspaper)
Legislators probe energy officials over power failures, lack of preparation heading into winter storm

The Texas Legislature held hearings Feb. 25 with energy companies including Oncor Electric Delivery and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas in response to last week’s historic winter storm, which left millions of Texans without electricity for days.